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HC raps civic bodies for evicting street vendors

Rapping civil bodies and police authorities for ignoring court orders in implementation of Street Vending Act, 2014, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday has ordered municipal authorities to get evicted street vendors reinstated.

Hearing a writ petition of National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) against continuous eviction and harassment of vendors in the Delhi, the  HC on Wednesday took a strong exception of blatant violation of the Street Vending Act, 2014 and repeated deliberate ignorance of court orders.

Annoyed by the blatant violation of the Act, the division bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul asked the petitioner to file a contempt petition for disobeying the earlier court orders.

Appearing for the NASVI, advocate Prashant Bhushan, drew attention of the bench towards the plight of street vendors. “The municipal and police authorities not only ignored the court orders but also extorted money (hafta) from the street vendors”, the lawyer argued.

Taking cognisance of the matter, the HC bench ordered civic authorities to conduct a survey of the area mentioned in the petition as to how many vendors have been evicted and to reinstate them in their original vending sites because “this was out right violation of the Act and the various court orders”.

It is pertinent to mention that around 100 vendors near Nahar Patti, Meena Bazar in Jamamasjid area were evicted on the eve of the August 15 citing security concerns. However, after the Independence Day celebrations were over they were not allowed to return to their workplace.

Repeated pleas to the Union Home Minister, Police Commissioner and the municipal authorities fell on deaf ears, the petitioner said.
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